Supercritical fluid coating of API on excipient enhances drug release

Qingguo Li, Deen Huang, Tiejun Lu, Jonathan Seville, Lei Xing, Gary Leeke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
338 Downloads (Pure)


A process to coat particles of active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) onto microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) excipient shows promise as a new way to dosage forms showing enhanced drug release. The process consists of a fluidized bed operated at elevated pressure in which API particles are precipitated from a Supercritical Anti-Solvent process (SAS). MCC particles were used as an excipient in the fluidized bed and collect the SAS-generated API particles. Naringin was selected as the model API to coat onto MCC. A number of operational parameters of the process were investigated: fluidization velocity, coating pressure, temperature, concentration of drug solution, drug solution flow rate, drug mass, organic solvent, MCC mass and size and CO2-to-organic solution ratio. SEM and SPM analyses showed that the MCC particle surfaces were covered with near-spherical nanoparticles with a diameter of approximately 100–200 nm, substantially smaller than the as-received API material. XRD showed that naringin changed from crystalline to amorphous during processing. The coated particles resulting from the SAS fluidized bed process have a higher loading of API, gave faster release rates and higher release ratios in comparison with those produced using a conventional fluidized bed coating process. The approach could be transferred to other industries where release is important such as agrochemical, cosmetic and food.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-327
Number of pages11
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Early online date18 Dec 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017


  • Supercritical Anti-Solvent
  • Fluidized bed coating
  • Naringin
  • Release profile
  • Nanoparticles


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